A New Mexico man faces animal cruelty charges after authorities say he used a chainsaw to kill a pit bull while his two children watched.

Investigators say 32-year-old Teddy Sexton of Aztec was jailed Thursday.

San Juan County Sheriff's Lt. Dwayne Faverino says Sexton told investigators the 2-year-old dog bit his 9-year-old daughter Aug. 15. Sexton told authorities he felt the dog should be put down, so he grabbed a kitchen knife and tried to cut its throat.

When that failed, Sexton told deputies he used the chainsaw.

Officials became aware of the incident Wednesday when an investigator from the state Children, Youth and Families Department alerted deputies about children who were having nightmares and reported seeing the dog's head removed.